The Supervisory Committee of Beautification of Roads and Public Places completed the development works of Al Firdous Street extending from Doha Oasis to Msheireb, as part of Zone 13 development.
Seven local artists have added striking new murals to the street’s walls as part of Qatar Museums’ (QM) Jedariart initiative in partnership with the committee, a public art initiative to activate urban areas through curated murals and street art.
In a statement, Mohamed Arqoub al-Khaldi, chairman of the committee, said that the development of Zone 13 includes the rehabilitation of several streets, intersections and plazas, one of the committee's objectives to develop the footpath network surrounding tourist attractions and revive the streets to make walking an enjoyable journey for visitors.
Abdulrahman Ahmed al-Ishaq, director of Public Art at QM, said: “Qatar Museums is once again pleased to partner with Ashghal for Jedariart – an initiative that brings together artists to add vibrancy and meaning to the walls across the city.”
The new public artworks include pieces by artists Mubarak al-Malik, Mubarak al-Thani, Huda Basahal, Ghada al-Suwaidi, Suha al-Dani, Abdullah Alsallat, and Ahmed al-Jufairi.
Sarah Kafud, vice-chairman of the committee, said, "The Jedariart initiative has contributed to adding creative touches that represent Qatar and its development across many areas. The breath-taking murals by locally-based artists highlight Qatar’s identity and revive Al-Firdous Street, which links two important tourist destinations.”
Mansour al-Moussawi, member of the committee, said: "We are working towards providing additional spaces across various locations in Qatar, including Al-Firdous Street, where Qatari and resident artists can express their artistic talent as part of the Jedariart initiative by adding distinctive aesthetic touches to these allocated spaces, which serve as points of attraction for locals, residents and tourists.”
Explaining the inspiration for his Lady in the Wind piece, Alsallat, said: “The name of the artworks refers to exactly how it was made I drew this character first in a sketchbook while sitting in the park on a windy day. It also expresses how I drew these abstract shapes and symbols as a way to express every thought and feeling I had. While drawing this original sketch, I poured everything I felt on to the paper and released all of it into the wind.”
The artwork of al-Suwaidi, a Qatari artist and illustrator, entitled Henna depicts a vibrant character that represents her culture and lifestyle. “The concept behind the artwork is to illustrate a part of the Qatari culture in a modern way using bright and bold colours. It is a mix of a simplistic yet detailed style. It grabs the attention and attracts both the old and new generation.”
On his Om Battoulla mural, al-Malik, said: "Through my pieces, I search for purity of origin without neglecting innovation and modernism. I like to use the battoulla in my murals, which is a golden mask previously worn by Qatari women with a mix of modern colours."
"My art wall at Al Firdoos street depicts Qatari architecture throughout history by primarily focusing on old and original elements. The mural captures old aesthetics and showcases elements that have inspired new architecture,” al-Thani said.
Basahal said of her piece: "My piece depicts how boys in the past used to pass their time with games and pigeon husbandry – something that is still a hobby of many men. The green leaves are of the Al Sidr tree, a tree commonly found in Qatar."
Al-Dani’s piece entitled Telah – Shagha – Sabba, aims to bring back childhood memories through three murals that highlight the unique heritage games Qatari’s used to play.
"For the mural, I focused on attempting to blend the traditional and contemporary both visually and conceptually. The use of the black and white for the centre painting of the two boys playing a traditional Qatari game called 'dahrouj' and the pop like background with a subtle yet joyful colour palette gives the sense of 20th century pop art. The contemporary mural pays homage to my history as a Qatari artist but also maintains the universal language of visual representation, colour structure and concept," Al Jufairi said of his piece entitled Dahrouj.